A glass and glazing company based in High Wycombe was fined £200,000 after employees suffered “life-changing injuries” resulting in “constant pain”.

Dozens of technicians working for PSV Glass and Glazing Limited were left with hand-arm vibration syndrome after using vibrating tools to remove window adhesive – sometimes for their entire shift, Reading Magistrates Court heard.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to adequately assess the risk the tools, known as Fein cutters, posed to employees on and before August 20, 2018.

Speaking after the hearing on December 23, 2021, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “This was a case of the company completely failing to grasp the importance of HAVS [hand-arm vibration] health surveillance.

“If they had understood why health surveillance was necessary, it would have ensured that they had the right systems in place to monitor workers’ health and the employees’ condition would not have been allowed to develop to a severe and life altering stage.”

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A large number of the 30 staff members affected were young and the injuries mean they now struggle with everyday tasks, can no longer work with vibrating tools and their hands are sensitive to the cold, according to the regulator.

In a statement, the HSE said these were “life-changing permanent injuries” leaving the technicians in “constant pain.”

The regulator found that PSV Glass and Glazing, based in Hillbottom Road, High Wycombe, did not monitor the use of the Fein cutters and had not implemented measures to control exposure.

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There was no tool maintenance programme to ensure tools were working effectively and that vibration levels were kept to a minimum, according to HSE.

The company, which installs and repairs glass windscreens and windows to buses, coaches, motor homes and trains, pleaded guilty to breaching four regulations of The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

They were ordered to pay an additional £11,120 in costs and a surcharge to fund victim services of £170.

PSV Glass and Glazing Limited has glass distribution deals with Arriva Bus and Coach and Wrightbus, as well as a glass replacement agreement with Optare, according to its website.

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